Work to be Completed by Aug. 1
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., July 17, 2015 – Major capital renovations are under way at the Show Me Center this summer that will elevate the facility to modern arena standards when it reopens for the fall 2015 semester at Southeast Missouri State University.
“These upgrades will not only increase the comfort of our patrons, but they will also provide a modern interactive environment designed to bring a new level of excitement to all our events,” said Ben Eller, Facilities Management project manager.
Many of the components in the building, which opened in 1987, were beyond their useful life for today’s arena events, University officials have said. To bring the building up to date, the University’s Board of Regents in June 2014 approved a list of high priority major capital renovations to the facility, which, this summer include new telescopic seating, center-hung video scoreboard, sound system, interior lighting systems and a new roof. The Board approved moving forward with the renovations after Convergence Design, in partnership with a team of consultants who specialize in the planning and design of spectator facilities, conducted a review of necessary renovations to the building.
The upgrades, which are being completed in phases, began in May and are on schedule. So far this summer, the retractable seating on the lower level has been removed, and new seats are now being installed. Seating on the lower level needed to be replaced because it was becoming increasingly difficult to retract the seats due to the aging platform on which the old seats were mounted, said Carolyn Figliolo, associate director of Facilities Management.
Removal of the seats on the lower level has been completed, and work is moving forward with the installation of new seats. When the project is complete, the lower level will feature 4,095 seats, bringing the facility’s total seating capacity to 7,373, up from 7,177, she said.
During a tour of the facility today to view the work in progress, Kathy Mangels, vice president for Finance and Administration, said the original scoreboard was removed because it was based on incandescent bulb technology which was not energy efficient, and replacement parts were no longer available.
Figliolo said the new video scoreboard is currently being assembled and is 75 percent complete. The new center hung scoreboard will have video capabilities on par with those at other Ohio Valley Conference schools, Mangels said.
Kiefner Brothers, Inc., is serving as the general contractor for the seating, lighting, sound and scoreboard replacements. The first phase of work is expected to be substantially completed by Aug. 1.
Work also is continuing this summer with replacement of the roof of the Show Me Center and the Student Recreation Center, which is contiguous to it. Mangels said the building’s roof is 22 years old, and deterioration caused water damage, particularly on the south side. Lakeside Roofing is the general contractor for the roof replacement.
When the Show Me Center reopens, patrons will be treated to a new experience.
“The first thing they will notice when they enter into the arena is that there will be direct access to the floor,” Eller said. “The seating is configured to allow an unimpeded entry by eliminating the 90-degree turn we had in the past.”
Other noticeable changes will be increased illumination provided for the basketball court and aisle lights, he said.
“Of course the most notable change will be the scoreboard with its 9-foot-by-16-foot LED video display,” Eller said. “All audio will be clearer and have even coverage throughout the bowl while providing higher quality music and vocal sound reproduction.
“The Show Me Center and Southeast Athletics are quite pleased that the University has made it possible for the much needed renovations and updates,” said Jim Barbatti, assistant director of the Show Me Center. “The Show Me Center will continue to be committed to enhancing the experience of our patrons while providing a quality facility that supports our student athletes. This could not have happened without the support of the University and its Board of Regents.”
Renovation costs this summer total $5.62 million and are being financed with one-time funds currently available and with an internal loan from the University’s fund balance.
The second phase of work, to be completed in summer 2016, may include replacement of the north parking lot and upgrades to the site lighting, rigging grid, fall arrest safety system and front meeting rooms.
The Show Me Center construction was a joint venture among the University, the City of Cape Girardeau and the State of Missouri. Operation of the Show Me Center is the responsibility of the University. The facility is home to Southeast’s Division I men’s and women’s basketball programs, and hosts a variety of University, private and entertainment events. While the University has completed some upgrades to the facility since its opening, including the addition of the east exterior ticket booth and the stair and patio area on the north side of the building, the majority of the original components remaining in the building needed upgrading.